Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar have had their share of controversy, but one thing that never changes despite the drama surrounding them, is their passion for teaching people. One of the ways they spread their message to younger generations is through Fort Rock Family Camp, an Arkansas retreat for fundamentalist Christians.
While the attendees are excited to hear from the Duggars, many people online are objecting to them speaking about marriage. The biggest argument against them is that their son, Josh Duggar, ended up as an unfaithful husband (his name was on the Ashley Madison leak) who also molested four of his sisters.
And yes, that is awful. Truly terrible behavior from anyone, especially someone who preaches about living in God’s way.
But it doesn’t speak to Michelle and Jim Bob’s marriage abilities. By all accounts, they have a very successful marriage. They’ve been married for over 30 years and survived the craziness that is having 19 kids. Some people without kids can’t make it work for more than a few months.
Yes, if the retreat was about raising children, or practical marriage advice for those of us who aren’t fundamentalist Christians, it would be a total waste of time. I'd imagine a lot of their advice is going to go back to Biblical verses that don’t help a large portion of the population. But that’s not who they’re talking to.
This retreat is for and by fundamentalist Christians who aspire to live their life the way that the Duggars do. In that (very specific) situation, they are total experts who are qualified to give their advice. We should throw a fit because the advice doesn’t apply to us.
It’s also important to remember that hindsight is the best teacher. Now that they’ve gone through one of the worst things two parents can deal with, they have more advice to offer. It’s not two people who have had a perfect life giving advice. It’s two people who’ve been through hell trying to teach people to do better.
For that, they should be applauded.
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